RICHMOND, Va. — Fifty battlefield acres have been donated to the state by Walmart, concluding a once-contentious fight over a store the retail giant had proposed near the Wilderness Battlefield.
Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the donation on Friday. It involves land in Orange County associated with the Wilderness and Chancellorsville battles.
Walmart had originally intended the land to be the home of a Supercenter. The proposal stirred an outcry among battlefield preservation groups such as The Civil War Trust. Opponents also included historians as well as some celebrities, including the actor Robert Duvall.
Walmart ultimately decided to build the store farther away from the Wilderness.
The Wilderness is best known as the place where Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Union’s Ulysses S. Grant first met on the field of battle.
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